The Best Lighted Nocks of 2024

Use these nocks for easier game and arrow recovery
A lighted nock on the ground after going through a deer.

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A rushed shot on a twitchy Texas whitetail was nearly a disaster. But, I saw my glowing nock disappear in the chest cavity and back near the last rib. That visual confirmation told me to give the deer time. After an hour, I easily found my arrow and with good blood from tip to lighted nock. With that information, I confidently began following the 100-yard blood trail right to the deer.

Seeing your hits and finding your arrow are the two advantages of lighted nocks. But, they introduce challenges, and you’ll need to consider the right model carefully. Here are some great options and advice on choosing the best lighted nocks for you.

Things to Consider Before Buying Lighted Nocks 

Why Lighted Nocks Are a Good Idea

Lighted nocks are fantastic tools for seeing your hits on animals and recovering your arrow. They become even more useful for diagnosing questionable hits when you’re filming and can review footage. A lighted nock also adds some fun to twilight practice sessions. 

Why Lighted Nocks Present a Challenge

Your arrow contacts the bow in two places: the arrow rest and the string. We obsessively tune our arrow rests, but we often neglect our nocks. If your nocks don’t fit your string properly, you’ll chase your tears in circles trying to get your bow to tune. 

Why? Well, your lighted nock is going to fit the string differently than your normal nocks, and it’s going to take up more space between your d-loop, which can cause nock pinch. Lighted nocks are much heavier than standard nocks, which can also affect your tune. 

My Approach to Lighted Nocks

Despite their drawbacks, I still use lighted nocks because they’re so helpful in game recovery. But, I treat them like broadheads. Before the season starts, I’ll put lighted nocks on my hunting and practice arrows. I’ll serve my string to get the perfect nock fit, which is achieved when a nock clicks onto the string but comes off with just a little force. If you see your string move as you pull your arrow off the string, the fit is too tight. If the arrow falls off the string, the fit is too loose. Then I’ll set my D-loop to accommodate the wider lighted nocks to prevent nock pinch. One way to test nock pinch is to draw your bow with an arrow that doesn’t have a point. You’re getting nock pinch if you see the arrow lift off your arrow rest during the draw cycle. Once all that set up is done, I can tune my bow again. 

Yes, that’s a lot of extra labor, but if you’re serious about accuracy, it’s what has to be done to shoot lighted nocks. 

Best Lighted Nocks: Reviews & Recommendations 

Best Overall: Nockturnal

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Key Features

  • Weight: 25 grains
  • Options for .233, .244, .246, and .203 inside diameter arrow shafts
  • Battery Life: 20+ hours (I tested it at over 72 hours)
  • Three per pack
  • Price: $30


  • Brightest tested
  • Good track record 
  • Long battery life


  • Requires a tool to shut off

I’ve used the Nockturnals for years, and I’ve never had one fail to light up—knock on wood. They’re also the brightest nocks I’ve tested, and I especially like the strobe options for arrow recovery. While testing battery life, not only did the standard Nockturnals last longer than the Shift and the competitors, they remained the brightest over three days of illumination. They are by far my favorite choice for lighted nocks, but that’s not to say they aren’t without their issues. 

You can get Nockturnals that are sized for your arrow or you can get a universal-fit nock that comes with adapter collars to fit any arrow on the market. I recommend the non-universal fit versions because I’ve had several collars crack, and while the collar fits inside the shaft snuggly, the nock doesn’t always stay in place within the collar. It leads to inconsistencies that I can’t tolerate within my archery equipment. Aside from the universal fit issues, the other consideration is that you’ll need a tool to turn off the nocks. A solution to this inconvenience is to use Nockturnal Practice Nocks for your regular shooting and the lighted versions for hunting. 

Read Next: Best Hunting Arrows

Easiest to Turn Off: Nockturnal Shift FIT

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Key Features

  • Weight: 25 grains
  • Fits .233, .244, .246, and .203 inside diameter arrow shafts
  • Battery Life: 20+ hours (lasted 48 hours in my testing)
  • Two per pack
  • Price: $28


  • Easy to turn off
  • Bright
  • Good battery life


  • Not the brightest

If you are going to use lighted nocks, I highly recommend that you tune your bow with lighted nocks and practice with them. Follow my advice and you’ll be turning off nocks a lot, which is typically a pain to do over an hour-long practice session. The Shift solves that issue by incorporating an external switch. Every pack I’ve purchased over the last year has been reliable, and they fit the string the same as the standard Nockturnals. Aside from the collar issues mentioned above, the main con I’ve noticed is that the Shift nocks aren’t as bright and don’t last as long as standard Nockturnals. 

Cheapest: XHYCKJ

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Key Features

  • Weight: 25 grains
  • Fits .244 inside diameter arrow shafts
  • Battery Life: 20+ hours (lasted 72 hours in testing)
  • Six per pack
  • Price: $30


  • Bright
  • Inexpensive 


  • Rattles 

Maybe you’ve noticed the preponderance of companies with all-caps names on Amazon. XHYCKJ is another example of that trend, and they’re making a lighted nock at the cheapest price I’ve seen. Currently, you can get six nocks and a small flat head for turning them off for $14. They’re available in several color and strobing options. There is a crossbow option, and I’ve only found them in a .244 inside diameter for vertical bows. 

Nockturnal (left) and XHYCKJ (right).

The fit was good on the two packs I ordered, and I didn’t need to break out the teflon tape to get them tight in the shaft. They’re narrower than a Nockturnal and fit inside the D-loop more like a standard nock, and they’ve reliably illuminated for me. But they’re not as bright as Nockturnals. The main downside to these nocks is that they rattle, which adds to your bow noise when you have a quiver full of them.

Best for Fitting Like a Standard Nock: Lumenok 

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Key Features

  • Weight: 25 grains
  • Fits .244, .245, .246, .204, .232, .165, and .166 inside diameter arrow shafts
  • Battery Life: 40 hours
  • Made in the USA
  • Three per pack
  • Price: $35


  • Bright
  • Replaceable battery


  • Can be inconsistent on lighting up with low draw weights
  • Tricky to turn off

The Lumenok is the OG lighted nock, and they’re still around because they work. There are three things that make them stand out: They’re made in the USA, they have a very similar fit to common nocks, and they have a replaceable battery.

I was impressed with their brightness, but less so with the ease of turning them off. When pushed in by the force of the bowstring, they turn on, and when twisted out slightly, they turn off. One tip for turning them off is to use an arrow puller to grip the nock. If you don’t want to mess with changing your D-loop or reserving your bowstring, the Lumenok might be the nock for you. 

How I Chose the Best Lighted Nocks

I bought each of the nocks mentioned in this story and tested their fit, brightness, reliability, and battery life. I’ve also hunted extensively with lighted nocks for the last 12 years and included my experience with the nocks I’ve used in the field. 


Why not use lighted nocks? 

Lighted nocks add weight to the back of your arrow, which can affect your tune. They also fit the string differently than standard hunting arrow nocks.

How long will lighted nocks last? 

Most lighted nocks have a minimum battery life of 20 hours. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Lighted Nocks

Right now, there isn’t a perfect or undisputed best lighted nock option. Each nock on the market comes with its pros and cons. I sincerely hope for more innovation in lighted nocks because there is a lot of room for improvement in the current offerings. But until then, check out the options I’ve laid out, and don’t forget to make sure your nocks properly fit your bowstring. 

Scott Einsmann Avatar

Scott Einsmann

Executive Gear Editor

Scott Einsmann is Outdoor Life’s gear editor. He oversees the gear team’s editors and writers who are subject matter experts in bows, knives, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and more. He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two bird dogs.